Hi guys! I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend. I’ve been working in overdrive lately trying to manage all of my commitments and honor them equally. My finals are done on Thursday, and I can’t wait to start creating content on a more daily basis, INCLUDING that for the latest and greatest addition to this whole blogging venture: The Blonde Chiffon YouTube channel.
I know, it doesn’t look like much yet. But stay tuned cause it’s gonna get real quick!
Let’s talk about something super important today.
Just kidding, but I do want to let ya’ll in on a little skinny secret.
If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you know I’m a total advocate for living a healthy, holistic lifestyle…and I promote that a lot here on TBC. However, I always try to be mindful and avoid falling into the body image obsession that has completely taken over the mainstream media. As a journalist, I’m always scrutinizing the media – especially when it seems to be having a negative effect on young women. So, I’ve been mulling over this issue for a few months now. Here’s some food for thought:
Skinny has been a go-to marketing strategy for decades. Think about it. The health and fitness industry rakes in millions each year as a result of this coveted status and the products that promise it. Not to mention, TV and magazines aren’t the only places we see these projections anymore. Many fitness and nutrition bloggers naively overuse this term without recognition of its definition.
Upon searching “skinny definition”, you will see that the adjective is defined as “very thin”. More disturbing are the synonyms provided, including words such as “bony”, “emaciated” and “informal anorexic”. Don’t believe me? Just Google it.
So, who’s wrong? TV and magazine advertisers, fitness and nutrition “gurus”, lifestyle bloggers or Google?
While there’s no right or wrong answer, I think we can all agree that there are major inconsistencies with how the word “skinny” is/should be used. And, maybe a few of us can attest to the fact that there needs to be a change in the way we approach the meaning of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s easy to assume that being skinny is just a product of mindful consumption and exercise. After watching several friends struggle with weight/body image problems recently (despite their unrelenting efforts), it’s evident that this isn’t always the case. Sometimes there’s underlying nutritional, medical or genetic issues that can complicate the weight loss process. Not to mention, we’re all built a little differently. Regardless of size, there IS a difference between being healthy and being skinny. This is SUCH an important distinction to make.
So why does skinny feel like a compliment?
Regardless of this distinction, skinny still kind of feels like a compliment, right? It’s kind of like being told you look good. This all comes down to the misuse and misunderstanding of skinny.
So, there are two options in combatting the “skinny” issue. 1) Dictionaries across the world can change their definitions of the word “skinny” to reflect the new meaning it has taken on in the media (i.e. healthy, fit, toned) 2) Women fight against this incongruity and spread the secret behind skinny in an effort to change the way women refer to fit and well-fed bodies that, as a result of hard work and dedication, harbor minimal unhealthy fats.
Despite “the skinny issue”, we don’t have to discontinue the use of the word altogether. However, we can avoid using it in reference to a specific person or coveted state of being because, what we’re really saying (according to definition), is how unhealthy someone is. How emaciated and nutrient deprived the individual appears. Not only is that not what we really mean, but it’s not a compliment!
Another solution to this issue would be for media outlets to promote their own definition of “skinny”. For example, when I refer to “skinny” on this blog, I’m referencing a healthy, toned and femininely muscular physique.
What’s your skinny definition? How do you guys feel “skinny” is represented in the media? Join the convo on Twitter or Instagram by tagging #TheSkinnySecret and @hollyhabeck, or comment below!